27 year veteran of the Philadelphia Fire Department killed in building collapse


Philadelphia firefighter is killed in building collapse that trapped five others: The 27-year veteran was inspecting damage after tackling blaze at a fast food restaurant when tragedy occured

  • In the early hours of Saturday firefighters with the Philadelphia Fire Department responded to a fire in a commercial building in the Fairhill neighborhood
  •  The fire was under control within 15 minutes and a family inside was able to escape without injury
  • But as officials were surveying the damage, the building collapsed while five members of the fire department and a building inspector were still inside
  •  Officials say initially they rescued four people but worked for hours to find and rescue the remaining two people after losing contact
  •  But one firefighter, an unidentified 27 year veteran with the department, died in the collapse

A Philadelphia firefighter was killed when a fire caused a building to collapse, trapping five others in the rubble.

In the early hours of Saturday morning firefighters with the Philadelphia Fire Department responded to a fire in a commercial building in the Fairhill neighborhood.

The fire was under control within 15 minutes and a family inside was able to escape without injury.

But 90 minutes later as officials were surveying the damage, the building collapsed while five members of the fire department and a building inspector were still inside. 

Officials say initially they rescued four people but worked for hours to find and rescue the remaining two people after losing contact

Officials say initially they rescued four people but worked for hours to find and rescue the remaining two people after losing contact

In the early hours of Saturday firefighters with the Philadelphia Fire Department responded to a fire in a commercial building in the Fairhill neighborhood

In the early hours of Saturday firefighters with the Philadelphia Fire Department responded to a fire in a commercial building in the Fairhill neighborhood

1st Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy described it as a 'lean-to/pancake collapse' in which some collapsed material fell flat on a surface, while other material might have leaned against a wall, creating space

1st Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy described it as a ‘lean-to/pancake collapse’ in which some collapsed material fell flat on a surface, while other material might have leaned against a wall, creating space

1st Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy described it as a ‘lean-to/pancake collapse’ in which some collapsed material fell flat on a surface, while other material might have leaned against a wall, creating space. 

‘There were a lot of void spaces,’ Murphy told CNN

Officials say initially they rescued four people but worked for hours to find and rescue the remaining two people after losing contact. 

1st Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy described it as a 'lean-to/pancake collapse' in which some collapsed material fell flat on a surface, while other material might have leaned against a wall, creating space

1st Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy described it as a ‘lean-to/pancake collapse’ in which some collapsed material fell flat on a surface, while other material might have leaned against a wall, creating space

Ultimately four of the firefighters and the city licensing and inspections worker were rescued and sent to a local hospital.

But one firefighter, an unidentified 27 year veteran with the department, died in the collapse. 

‘It’s a sad day for the Philadelphia Fire Department,’ Murphy said. ‘Unfortunately our department lost a member bravely fighting a fire then caught in a building collapse.’ 

As of Saturday morning the licensing worker was released and the four firefighters remained hospitalized in stable condition, Commissioner Murphy said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it is not believed to be suspicious. 

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